One of the most valuable tools I have for getting work done is Freedom, an app that blocks the Internet from my computer for a specified period of time. It’s amazing how often I have the urge to just look something up while I’m writing, and how often that leads me down a rabbit hole of distraction. Or how often I have the urge to just check my email, even though I’m not necessarily expecting anything important or even interesting. I can set Freedom for 30, 60, or more minutes, and achieve wonderful focus. Somehow knowing I can’t check email or even something ‘legitimate’ such as the distance between two points in something I’m writing, or the exact year something happened, etc., helps me focus on the text I’m creating. Easy enough to highlight a fact or phrase to signal myself to check it later, and even that turns out to be more efficient, once I’ve got a whole bunch of things to check–more inclined to just go through them rather than allow myself to get distracted by them.
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